High price of split

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The principle of Scottish independence has been wrapped up by the SNP in a package of promises and aspirations, presented in a tome which lacks detail and has been superficially costed.

The practicalities of separation have not been merely glossed over, they have not even been ­addressed. The effect of a possible Yes majority is already being seen in the financial markets and gives a stark foretaste of what might confront Scotland and the UK.

The plain fact is that Scotland cannot afford to be independent and to fund all the pensions, welfare, benefits, free childcare, free university tuition, free prescriptions and the whole raft of other promises made by the SNP.

Scottish finance secretary John Swinney can’t spend what he doesn’t have and if he tries to ­borrow, as he says he will, the money markets will not give him preferential interest rates.

Far from it. Nobel Laureate, the economist Paul Krugman, is predicting financial disaster for the Scottish people. Mr Krugman has no vested interest in the outcome of the referendum. He is a realist.

It is to be hoped the electorate open their eyes to the costly ­practicalities of independence and say No Thanks. Otherwise the ship of Scotland will founder on the rock of nationalist principle and we’ll all go down with it.

Stuart Smith

West Lennox Drive

Helensburgh

Billions wiped from the value of the pound and from the shares of Scottish-based multinationals in a day – it would appear we have their attention at last.

London, the City and the Westminster government have been in denial about the political ­ferment in Scotland ever since the referendum date was set.

It is sad you have to hit Westminster in its pocket ­before it pays attention, but that fact alone demonstrates how the values of the south and north of the UK have diverged: ­despite dire warnings of economic ­difficulties in the event of independence, the debate, for we who live here, has never been ­primarily about money.

David Fiddimore

Calton Road

Edinburgh

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